A new €3 million scientific research programme to understand the
environmental impacts of offshore wind – believed to be the largest of its
kind – is to be launched at a new Scottish wind farm.

The programme will be hosted at Vattenfall’s new European Offshore Wind
Deployment Centre (EOWDC) to be built off the Aberdeenshire coast – a
project bitterly, frequently and unsuccessfully, opposed by nearby
golf-course owner and US Republican party presidential candidate Donald Trump.

A scientific panel advising on the allocation of the fund, made up of
specialists in the field, has called on scientists to apply for funding to
study the environment around the 11-turbine scheme.

Panel members, who will decide which applications merit funding, include
Aberdeen Renewable Energy Group, Marine Scotland Science, Scottish Natural
Heritage, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, RSPB Scotland, the
Joint Nature Conservation Committee, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, and
the Crown Estate.

Adam Ezzamel, Vattenfall project director, said: “In-depth scientific
research and monitoring in a real-time environment is recognised as vital
to maximising the learning opportunities for the offshore wind sector.

“We’re pleased that the research will take place at the EOWDC as it
underlines the importance of the scheme as a global hub of innovation.

Aly McCluskie, senior conservation scientist at RSPB Scotland, said:
“Offshore wind has huge potential to help reduce our carbon emissions but
we need to improve our understanding of its environmental effects to help
ensure developments happen without harming wildlife.

“This research programme at EOWDC provides an excellent opportunity to
contribute towards this and RSPB Scotland are very pleased to support its

The closing date for expressions of interest in the research programme is 2
September 2016.

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